Catalytic Converters: Theft

Home Office written question – answered on 20th May 2022.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of gathering data centrally on the (a) annual number of catalytic converter thefts and (b) number of arrests and charges for theft of catalytic converters.

Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions her Department has had with the National Vehicle Crime Working Group on catalytic converter thefts.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

Opal, the police intelligence unit on serious organised acquisitive crime, monitors the numbers of catalytic converter thefts and shares data with the Home Office and National Vehicle Crime Working Group. In addition, the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership (NICRP) is collating intelligence to track these thefts, alert members to trends, and implement crime prevention measures.

The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the number of theft offences, and arrests and charges for theft. However, this data is collected at offence group level only and cannot be broken down further to identify thefts of catalytic converters.

We are continuing to work closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group to tackle vehicle-related thefts. The British Transport Police and the NICRP have co-ordinated a number of multi-agency national weeks of action to tackle theft of scrap metal and catalytic converters. Three weeks of action resulted in 92 arrests, over 2,000 site visits, over 1,000 stolen catalytic converters recovered, and the catalytic converters of over 3,000 vehicles were forensically marked. This has helped to promote awareness, with over 1,000 officers trained in enforcement powers to deal with scrap metal dealers.

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